In Hermine’s Arms. Wet and Windy.

No, Hurricane Hermine did not make a landfall here in central Gulf Coast. But being on the east side of the storm brewing on the ocean we came to experience the worst weather in its feeder bands. Relentless downpours and tropical storm force winds from Wednesday until this afternoon. And it’s not quite over as yet. We are fine, just now surrounded by much more water than I have ever seen here. The beach has only a narrow strip of sand before the ‘lakes’ take over. All the paths to the salt marsh are heavily flooded too. And our garden has an extra pond where I usually walk Dylan at midday.

flooded lake on the beach from Hermine UD77

flooded beach hermine UD77

hermine extra lake UD77But there has been lots of drama in our area. Rescues from sinking cars, flooded streets, homes and businesses, a hospital evacuation and house fires. A storm surge in some places north of us reached 12 feet, while ours was only 2-3 feet. Luckily no lives were lost.

hermine damage channel 8 ud77It was difficult to stay inside for over two days. Apart from some challenging bathroom breaks for Dylan. The cabin fever set in. I had gone to the terrace a couple of times during short breaks in the rain to take pictures of the ocean, the salt marsh and the bay .

hermine at the jetty UD77

hermine bay ud77And I had tried to take a few pictures from inside as well. With varying degrees of success 🙂

rain and the bay Hermine UD77

hermine on the bay rain ud77So late this morning when the rain did let up for a couple of hours, I went out with my camera. I wanted to check on the flooding and the waves pounding the beach. Or so I thought.

hermine winds UD77I walked through our back garden and among lots of debris from palm trees, I found our resident Northern Mockingbird.

northern mocking bird UD77Then I steered towards our ‘board walk’, which leads to the beach. It was not under water, but I could see ‘lakes’ on both sides, normally dry land.

extra lake from hermine UD77

flooding from hermine UD77And when I arrived at the end of the walk, I discovered the path to the beach was flooded. Much more water than my rain boots would take.

hermine flooded path UD77So I ended up shooting the waves from our board walk. The wind was still measuring at over 30 miles or 50 kilometers per hour. It was difficult to stay upright. Even the flood waters had noticeable waves.

hermain on the ocean UD77

hermine gulls and waves UD77

6 foot waves Hermine UD77The waves were still about 6 feet high and a group of terns was taking shelter at the narrow sand bank separating the ocean from the flood waters. Soon it started to rain again and I had to run inside. In the coziness of our living room I looked out towards the bay. Perfecting the art of staying inside 😉

hermine from inside 2 UD77I have not yet been able to visit the salt marsh due to the heavy flooding, but I hope to do so later on this Labor Day weekend. The only bird I have seen from my terrace is Mama Osprey. She was checking on the nest this afternoon. The water levels are currently too high for the wading birds to walk there, but I’m hoping for a rush as soon as the waters recede a bit. Happy weekend to all of you.

68 thoughts on “In Hermine’s Arms. Wet and Windy.”

  1. I’ve never seen the Gulf so stormy Helen! I’m glad the danger has passed and there has just been flooding. Imagine being inside with no power for 2 days … May you and Dylan get out more tomorrow. 💛
    Can’t wait to see what the birds are up to!

    1. This storm seems to be very long lived…now charging up the east coast. The Gulf was indeed the stormiest I have seen it, and the rains have not stopped quite yet. And that adds to the flooding. I so feel for many people in the areas just north of us. Saw both Sandy and Stanley this morning when Dylan and I could finally take a walk. The park where the salt marsh is remains closed due to severe flooding. So I can only see the salt marsh from my terrace – no birds. But tomorrow we are finally expecting to see the sun 🙂

  2. Ah! Helen…I’m so happy to see this post from you. You a have been on my mind during this storm and I’m happy you are fine…but send healing light to those who have suffered such damage. Mother Nature can be so very powerful. Stay safe…hope it ends so you can get out! ♡♡

    1. I finally got out this morning for a ‘proper’ walk with Dylan, and spotted both osprey parents, but then it started raining again. The salt marsh park is closed due to flooding so I can’t reach it from the street or from the beach – and many neighborhoods are still flooded too. I so feel for those whose homes are affected.

      1. Sending lots of healing energy…I know how you feel. During Hurricane Wilma our power came back on the next day while most of our town was without for over 2 weeks!!! Hope you can enjoy this day ❤

  3. I know Mother Nature can be dangerous, but the storms sure look amazing. I wish my life wasn’t so chaotic, as I know I’d enjoy reading your posts after post. Your pictures and story telling are so soothing. Falling into your blog is easy! Enjoy your weekend and stay dry and safe! Big hugs! Koko

    1. Thanks for your visit and kind comment, Koko ❤ This morning Dylan and I managed a long walk before it started raining again. That storm is now working its way up the east coast, but some rain bands still remain and add to the flooding. In our area we do not have big problems although the park/salt marsh and the beach are closed, but people just north of us are certainly still dealing with the aftermath. Have a beautiful weekend, my friend. XX

  4. Glad you did not get the worse of it, I read that many are without power in one area. Our state is having bad weather today and yesterday also with strong winds. Hope it all clears for you soon Tiny. Thanks Tiny for sharing some of the storm pics of your area, the wind really stirs things up. Have a good weekend my friend and keep dry:-)

    1. We probably got the worst of the rains, but not the wind so power remained on here for most of us. Flooding is still a big issue for many families. And I can’t reach the salt marsh either from the road (gates closed) or the beach due to deep flood waters. Managed a walk with Dylan this morning before the rain started again, and spotted both mama and papa osprey 🙂 Have a wonderful week ahead, my friend.

  5. Love and blessings to you and your dear family, and all those who are dealing with the challenges of the storm in Florda; that includes animals and birds, of course.

    Thank you for the update, Helen.

    1. Many families are still struggling with the flooding and the rains have not yet stopped completely, but from tomorrow we expect sun so that the drying up can begin. I hope the birds and other animals have fared well through the storm, saw the osprey parents this morning but the flooded salt marsh still seems deserted. Have a wonderful weekend and week ahead, my friend.

    1. I know. Dylan did not like the downpours either – or the new pond in the garden, but finally we managed a 1.5 mile walk this morning before it started to rain again. We don’t need more water!

      1. We made it to the beach for a walk today . . . only to be chased away by thunder, lightning, and rain. Instead of 2 miles, we had to settle for 1 mile. Better than nothing!

        And the beach looked great. Better than I expected.

        1. Good for you that you could get a short walk on the beach! I could only get to the beach (or the little strip of dry sand that’s there) in swimsuit right now so I’ll wait 🙂

    1. I see Hermine is coming up the east cost now, I hope it doesn’t drop too much rain or cause storm surges in your area. We still have too much flooding and more rain has been coming down still today. Stay dry and take care.

  6. I am so glad you are safe, if not completely dry. I owe you an email, which should be coming sometime this weekend. Have a good one my friend although it will be a bit soggy. ❤

    1. Thanks Jackie. It is indeed soggy, and the flooding is not helped by more rain still coming down every now and then. The beach and the salt marsh park remains closed… Have a good weekend, my friend ❤

    1. It was wild, and the rains have unfortunately still not stopped completely which increases the flooding. Salt marsh park is closed (the gates from the street) and it is far too flooded on the beach for me to walk there, so it may take a couple of days before I can visit the birds. Dylan and I spotted both mama and papa osprey this morning on our first ‘proper’ walk after the storm, so they are doing fine 🙂

  7. Wow, what chaos and flooding Tiny ~ this is really a look at how Mother Nature can be destructive but also how she can be replenishing too. Stunning shots, and look forward to the news of your Salt Marsh.

    1. The storm is over for us now, Hermine is charging up the east coast, but the rains have not yet stopped so the flooding continues. The whole park where salt marsh is located remains closed today and the beaches are severely flooded. But tomorrow we are finally expecting to see the sun – the drying up can begin. Have a great week ahead, Randall.

    1. We probably got the worst of the rain, and it has not yet stopped completely, but were spared from the strongest winds and did not have so many power outages. Enough drama though for many families who are still dealing with their flooded homes. Have a wonderful week ahead, Karin.

  8. Wow, that was some storm, even if you did miss the main hurricane. Your photos tell the story perfectly. Glad to hear you’re ok. Will wait to hear about the salt marsh residents. Love to you all ♥

    1. We missed the strongest winds but probably got the most rain – everything is still flooded around us and many families are struggling with water in their homes. Tomorrow finally the sun is expected to show up 🙂 Salt marsh park is closed due to severe flooding, but I hope to be able to check on the birds before end of our long holiday weekend. Thank you for your visit and kind comment, Isabella.

  9. The second of the displayed shots from the board walk, that of the terns in flight, is a quite fabulous composition, Helen, and the standout from this excellent series, for me. 🙂

    1. Happy you liked the ‘storm series’, Hariod. It was so windy, I got many blurry pictures as it was truly difficult to remain upright. We expect the rains to stop and the sun to show up tomorrow so that the drying up can begin…and I hope the salt marsh will reopen soon too 🙂

    1. The storm has passed and it’s now charging up the east coast, but unfortunately the rains have been hanging on here. Flooding is a serious issue for many families, the salt marsh is closed due to flooding too, but we are really fortunate to be dry 🙂

  10. When I saw the weather map, I noticed life-long friends live in the wake of that east-side arm and quick contacted them. They said they had lots of rain and wind, but never lost electric.
    I always wonder how and/or why people get stuck in their cars. There are always warnings about floods and what are they doing going out during a hurricane?
    Glad you’re alright, Tiny!!

    1. Thank you! Yes, many homes are still flooded as the rains have not completely stopped as yet, but like you, I cannot understand why people try to drive in floodwaters. Everybody was asked to stay at home…and that’s what we did. We are lucky that the flooding in our area is limited to the beach and the salt marsh. Have a great Laber Day weekend.

    1. Thank you Brad. When I went out to shoot the waves yesterday, the wind was still powerful and the waves very high, but it is better today. Now we just need the rains to stop and the sun to peek out to start the drying process 🙂

  11. I’m so happy that you’re OK Tiny, we were thinking of you during the storm. Hurricane Hermine continued to Georgia causing some damage too but did not affect us in my area, just rain and dark clouds passing by. The marsh will be back to normal and flourishing in wild life soon! Will have plenty of food for many birds too! You’ll see. 🙂

    1. Thank you my friend! We are dry, but there is flooding everywhere. I so feel for families whose homes were flooded. The salt marsh is not reachable right now either from the road (gates closed) or the beach (too high flood waters), but I am hoping for sun tomorrow to start the drying process. I know you are right about the birds, the big ones will return first then the smaller waders. Saw both ospreys this morning on my first proper walk with Dylan 🙂 Glad your area was not directly affected.

    1. Oh, I’d love to send you the rains that have still been coming down. We don’t need any more water, but you do. We are fine and dry, but many families are still out of their flooded homes. We’re expecting to finally see the sun tomorrow 🙂

  12. Wow! You have had a lot going on these past few weeks! Summer vacation is over for me, and I am teaching a new class this year. So, I have been very busy the past few weeks and haven’t had a chance to stop by. I can’t imagine waiting for the storm to pass…those waves are very impressive. I am looking forward to hearing how everyone is doing in the salt marsh!

    1. Yes, I took time off from work mid July until later this month and did all kinds of other fun ‘stuff’ – being my own boss has its benefits 🙂 This storm was a huge rainmaker for us – still lots of flooding everywhere. Luckily we stayed dry, but everyone here was not that fortunate. Lots of cleanup is needed once the sun peeks out and the drying process can begin. Even the salt marsh park is closed due to extensive flooding right now. Not too much more rain today so Dylan and I got in a proper walk this morning. I hope your semester with the new class has started nicely.

    1. Lots of water everywhere! The blue skies and the sun are back only in the last hour or so. If I’d like to photograph the sunset today from the edge of the water, I would need to be in a swimming suit and carry my camera high up to get there 🙂

  13. Sounds really wild there, Helen. We’ve been fortunate this time and haven’t had bad weather at all. Love your photo of the beautiful Mockingbird, and your tern shots are excellent. Hope the waters clear soon, so that you and Dillan and your camera can go out walking again. xx

  14. I am happy you were not affected by this storm. We got 15 inches (38 cm) of rainfall since Wednesday. You can imagine how happy I am seeing the blue skies and sunshine right now. The salt marsh/the park is closed due to severe flooding, but I hope things will be looking better tomorrow. If I want to walk on the narrow dry strip of the beach right now I will need to be in a swimming suit 😀

  15. Your pictures tell the story, Tiny. Shocking to see the flooding and the pounding of the waves. I’m so thankful you and your family are safe. It’s a miracle no lives were lost.

    1. Unfortunately I learned after writing this post that one peson had died somewhere north of us in central Florida when a tree fell on him, but it’s still a miracle that nobody died from the powerful storm surge where the hurricane made landfall. Finally today we are seeing the sun and the slow drying process can start. The beach and salt marsh are still completely flooded and it will take many days before our environment is back to normal, including getting the power back for all those who lost it on Thursday-Friday.

  16. It is quite amazing, Helen, how nature rolls with the punches! Something I’ve often wondered is: Where do the birds go in times such as this? Even in a typical storm, without the fury that was Hermine, how do the wildlife survive? And yet they do; and they return in all their glory, picking up their lives with nothing more than a casual glance backwards ~ or so it seems…
    Lovely to read that your area was spared the full force; yet, from your images, it’s going to take some time to return to normal.
    xoxoxo

    1. After pondering about the birds, I now think they are good in finding shelter from the wind, and as you say they seem to return to normal quickly and effortlessly – even when things have changed for them. It will take time for the floodwaters to recede (everything still looks the same as Friday morning) and the water level at the salt marsh to get lower and allow the wading birds to find food. It seems those birds now forage in the hundreds of shallow ponds that have formed everywhere in the park and in our neighborhood 🙂 Our immediate communities here usually fare quite well, but north of us many families are still in shelters or staying with family and friends.

      1. Even though it is so difficult to experience, such events generally bring out (not only the worst) but, the best in us; we either crumble, or we gain inner strength. Appreciating this is the way I remain compassionate, yet objective to mother nature’s punches… For, punch she will, ad infinitum! Harsh, yet predictable…

  17. Amazing pictures, Tiny! I’m so glad it wasn’t worse. Storm surges are what worry me most about hurricanes and tropical storms. Water has such awesome power… What a great picture of the mockingbird! I hope things are getting back to normal now.

  18. There is so much water here around us that it will take quite a time for everything to dry out…but I am so grateful that very few people in our immediate area had to leave their homes due to flooding…it is much worse north of us, many families still hunkering in shelters as of today. That mockingbird already knows me (they remember people’s faces!) and was in no hurry to fly away.

  19. I’m glad the storm is over now, Helen. The photos are very good, showing the terrific impact of Hermine. I have once experinced a hurricane in Florida, it looks so familiar to the damage we had, this brings it all back. Do you have hurricane shutters?

    1. This was the 4th storm during our time living in FL, and by far the largest and most powerful. No, we do not have storm shutters as we mostly have floor to ceiling windows and glass doors, but the glass is ‘hurricane proof’ up to level 3 hurricane (this was level 1). Native Americans tribes (mostly Seminole) have an ancient burial ground right here in Clearwater and there is a legend that says it will not be disturbed by hurricanes. Only one has made landfall just north of that place – in 1921. I like that legend.

  20. Oh I had been wondering how the salt marsh was doing in the wake of the terrible hurricane threats. Your photos and descriptions are wonderful, Helen — and I hope the drama and waters recede, and that the weather in your beautiful community settles down soon.

    1. The beach and the salt marsh are still flooded – it looks pretty much the same as it did last Friday morning when I took the pictures. The whole park where the salt marsh is situated is still closed due to extensive flooding. The beach (or the sand strip it now is) is empty on a holiday that usually brings hundreds of people to the public beach. It will take days before the waters recede, and probably even longer before the wading birds come back to the marsh. And I so feel for the families just north of us who are still in shelters because their homes are flooded.

  21. That is way too much water! Thankful you didn’t have more serious damage. My niece lives on the water in Sarasota, so I called to check on her. Apparently they didn’t suffer serious damage either, but storms like that have to be scary and tumultuous for the animals and humans alike (Yes, humans are animals, but you know what I mean).

  22. Wow…the photos of the flooding of the marsh with the high rises in the back ground make me very uncomfortable. I realize there will always be hurricanes but global waters are rising.

    I enjoyed reading your storm update!

  23. Great storm photos, Mother Nature can really give a punch. Very glad all is well in your area, and I’m sure I’ll read in next posts that the Salt Marsh is back intact and full of activity again. We still can’t help but worry for the birds and animals while they endure the elements, somehow they mostly do okay. 🙂

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